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Prof. Myles Allen (University of Oxford) - "Are we living in a new geological era - the 'Anthropocene’?"

  • Holywell Music Room Holywell Street Oxford (map)

Around the turn of the millennium, Eugene Stoermer and Paul Crutzen suggested we are living in a new geological epoch, possibly the first in which a single species, humankind, was reshaping planetary systems on a global scale. When did the 'Anthropocene' begin? When, and how, might it end? Is this really a significant event in Earth history, or is it ridiculously hubristic for us to consider our own influence on the world comparable to the massive and often cataclysmic events that have shaped the planet in the past? I will talk about the evidence for, and against, the notion of an Anthropocene epoch, and what it might mean for us to live on a planet which, for better or for worse, we increasingly control.